Oakham boxer Paul Butlin believes he will wear down former British champion Shane McPhilbin and claim the Midlands title on Saturday.McPhilbin stunned favourite Leon Williams to win the British cruiserweight title two-and-a-half years ago.
But 38-year-old Butlin believes his Nottingham-based opponent is now boxing above his weight and has questioned his fitness. The pair will clash over 10 rounds in a hotly-anticipated heavyweight title fight at Lincoln this weekend.
He said: “I’m just going to work him over with jabs, throw more combinations and he will give in; he will quit after five or six rounds.
“I think he will come out expecting a short fight. He will try to come out and bomb me, but I’m no cruiserweight.
“If I could just do what I do in the gym, I could ruin most heavyweights in Britain, it’s just down to me to do it on the night.”
The Midlands belt represents unfinished business for Butlin who lost his previous title fight narrowly on points to Lee Swaby in 2009.
While Butlin believes he had done enough to win, or at least draw, the verdict on that occasion went to the hometown man.
He added: “It would be massive for me. I thought I had won it the first time against Swaby.
“I’ve been slogging away for 10 years now so this time I’ve got to win the title and move on.”
Carl Greaves, who manages both, said McPhilbin and Butlin were friends before a war of words exploded over social media after the fight was announced back in March.
While Butlin’s blood will be up for the contest, he knows staying composed could be the key to victory.
He added: “It’s just about workrate. I’ve looked at (world champion Floyd) Mayweather and how he trains and I think I have been trying too hard.
“I’m more relaxed and it’s working better. I am fast, believe it or not, but sometimes I try too hard to knock them out when I should be holding back on the power and throwing more shots.
“I have just got to do my thing. I always say it but it never happens in the ring, but on Saturday I will make it happen when it counts.”